Black Cube, Personal Structures

Personal Structures
Joel Swanson and Laura Shill
On the occasion of the 57th Venice Biennale

Palazzo Bembo, located off the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
Presented by Black Cube Nomadic Museum.
Saturday, May 13th – Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Free and open to the public.

David B. Smith Gallery is proud to support artist Joel Swanson in a two person exhibition, Personal Structures, in Venice, Italy, occurring concurrently with the 2017 Venice Biennale. Presented by Black Cube Nomadic Museum and curated by Cortney Lane Stell, Swanson is exhibiting alongside Denver artist Laura Shill, as the two examine the concepts and cultural uptake of gender and language. Personal Structures, located in the historic Palazzo Bembo, recently called “a nimble counterpoint to the more top-heavy parts of Venice’s Biennale” in an article by Terence Trouillout for artnet, marks the debut of Colorado artists in Venice for this renown cultural event.

Read the full article here.

Have you ever been writing a word and for a brief moment it looks strange? It seems to almost lose its meaning? This happens to me when I write the word “what.” I stare at the word, sound it out, but it just seems foreign. Technically, this phenomenon is known as aphasia, the condition when someone loses the ability to understand language, typically due to some type of brain trauma. There is something so vulnerable and terrifying about losing our primary mode of communication, but it also allows us to see and experience the world without this wrapper of words and language. This is what Paul Valery means when he says, “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” Perhaps my work might induce a brief (and non-violent) moment of aphasia in its viewers; that it might offer a fleeting but significant experience where we see through, or perhaps beyond language, and help us experience the world in a different way.   – Joel Swanson, from interview with Stephanie Edwards.

Read the full interview here